Mobile learning, or mLearning, has become an incredibly important part of the eLearning sector. There once was a pretty clearly defined line between eLearning and mLearning, but that is changing. While they are not the same thing, they can and should be used in coordination to improve the learning process in corporate environments. Of course, this leaves businesses in need of an effective way to introduce mLearning.
The Benefits of Mobile Learning
So, what are the primary benefits of mLearning? Simply put, it allows the engagement of employees on their terms. It fosters an environment that users can appreciate and use more easily.
How Do We Use Mobile Devices?
To get to the heart of introducing mobile learning to employees, it is first necessary to think about how we use our own mobile devices. Most of us use smartphones and tablets not for academic study, but for discovery and to find facts or specific information. It is essential to create a mobile learning system that ties into that.
Pay Attention to Content Format
Sure, mobile devices are capable of handling animation, photos and text, but that’s not what most users prefer. Video content has become one of the most popular options for consumption on mobile devices, and that trend is only going to continue.
Build a mobile learning experience with that in mind. There are numerous benefits, but one of the most important is that video production quality does not have to be super high in order for the content to be effective.
User Experience Matters
While content must be engaging and well suited to the specific audience in question, it is extremely important to consider the user’s experience. Employees can be unforgiving if forced to use a mobile learning system that offers a poor user experience. This has a direct effect on employee participation, learner scores, and knowledge retention.
Mobile learning offers a different, more improved experience than conventional eLearning. Micro-moments of instruction are a part of this opportunity. Think of personal and consumer uses for mobile devices: using a smartphone to look up a nearby restaurant, store hours, or turn-by-turn directions. By applying this concept to mobile learning, users engage in a modern learning experience.
Consider these things:
What do employees want to know and achieve?
What do you want them to achieve and know?
How can these concepts be incorporated into the mLearning experience?
Mobile Learning Challenges
Yes, mobile learning is hot right now, and it will continue to be a part of professional training. However, it is crucial to keep mobile learning on a slower path. Don’t jump right in and attempt to transform all eLearning content into mobile-accessible content right away. Not only is that costly, but it can lead to pitfalls down the road when information is missed or does not translate well to the mobile environment.
Pay Attention to Context
Mobile learning can be powerful, but it needs to be contextually relevant to learners. Ensure that all content created for mobile learners is obviously relevant to them through context. This is particularly true with curated content.
mLearning will become a larger and larger part of professional training and education, but it is essential that it is introduced to employees in the correct manner, and that it is created by following industry-best practices to ensure engagement, knowledge retention, and absorption.